Special Events

On the Yahara partners with organizations around the Madison area that share our vision and acknowledge the importance of nature, wellness, and self-care. Together, we are committed to bringing you special programs and workshops that will help you connect with yourself, nature, and your writing.

Here is everything that we have coming up. As we make new partnerships, we will continue to add events so make sure to bookmark this page and check back often!

Nature Writing Classes

In partnership with The Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Session 1: Eco-poetry as Healing Art, Tuesdays, May 25, June 1, 10 – 11:30AM

Session 2: Blue Iris: from Mary Oliver and the Art of Observation Series, Fridays June 11, 18, 12 – 1:30PM

Session 1- Eco-poetry as Healing Art

“The Great Work, based on the story of life’s unfolding, moves us away from a preoccupation with the self into the larger ecological self of the Earth Community.  This movement has deep implications for our psychological healing, awakening in us a sense of both awe and belonging.”  – K. Lauren de Boer, “Healing and the Great Work,” from Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind.

For this two-part class we will use the quote above as inspiration to consider ways of finding spiritual practice in the process of understanding and writing eco-centric poetry. An eco-spiritual practice will often have to do with experiencing the natural world first-hand, observing it in relation to self, and then creating as a natural act in itself that allows us to restore our connection to place, self, the earth. We will supplement our reading with Trebbe Johnson’s Radical Joy for Hard Times.

Session 2- Blue Iris: from Mary Oliver and the Art of Observation Series

Let’s continue our discussion of Mary Oliver poetry out on the Pheasant Branch Trail! Blue Iris is a special selection of poetry and “essays on the beauty and wonder of plants. The poet considers roses, of course, as well as poppies and peonies; lillies and morning glories; the thick-bodied black oak and the fragrant white pine; the tall sunflowers and the slender bean.” For the first class, we will primarily work through Blue Iris selections and discuss themes; for the second, please bring your own poem or favorite from collection to read.

A common reading will be sent out before each session.

Workshops will meet in person at the Dane County Parking lot: 4864 Pheasant Branch Road

If regulations for outdoor gatherings change, a Zoom link will be sent out two days before the class.

Nature Poetry Reading and Writing Class

In partnership with the UW-Arboretum

4 Class series: Wednesday June 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021 from 10:30AM – 12PM

Walk the trails and discuss poetry selections for inspiration. Learn how to take poet’s notes and dabble in sketching nature illustrations. In-person class will be held outdoors; wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Session is four classes; no single-day registrations. Fee: $60. Register by June 1 (Rain dates are Thursdays at the same time.)

Nature Writing Series: The Nature Fix

In partnership with In partnership with Waunakee Library

Thursday June 17, 2021 from 2PM to 3:30PM

In this nature poetry writing class, we will first take a look at the profound new observations made by researchers, journalists, and leaders in the ‘reconnect to nature’ movement as they, and so many others, redefine our modern need for nature experience.

It is recommend that participants read or be familiar with “The Nature Fix” by Florence Williams before the first class. Copies will be available at the library beforehand.

Visit the link below to open Waunakee Library’s calendar, navigate to June 17, and click on the event name to learn more and register for FREE.